Roberto Burle Marx “Copacabana Boardwalk”


Roberto Burle Marx is a Brazilian Landscape Architect who is well known for creating one of the most iconic promenades in Brazil. The promenade is called the Copacabana Boardwalk. It was designed in 1970 and built in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The promenade is located in front of the beautiful Copacabana Beach. The Copacabana Boardwalk frames the sandy beaches for two and half miles and is the longest mosaic in the world. The sidewalk is decorated with tiny black and white stones arranged in a wave pattern that creates the mosaic design. Each individual stone had to be cut and laid by hand. Burle Marx extended his mosaic design across the street onto the sidewalk and onto the traffic island. The sidewalk and the traffic island is a collaboration of geometric and abstract designs using the mosaic stones. Roberto continued to use the black and white colors and added a hint of red stones to accentuate his design.

Burle Marx was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1909, and lived there for a short time before he moved to Rio de Janeiro, where he grew up. Roberto lived next door to a famous Architect named Lucio Costa who helped influence Roberto at a young age. Lucio Costa also commissioned Roberto’s first design project of a garden. Burle Marx thought of himself more of a painter, than as a Landscape Architect. He was once quoted “Landscape design is merely the method I found to organize and compose my drawing and painting, using less conventional materials.” Roberto was a multitalented artist that loved painting, sculpting, and making tapestries and jewelry. Burle Marx was an extraordinaire Landscape Architect and artist who brought Brazil a Modernistic approach for the 20th century.


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